Monarch Butterfly Numbers Down Again


Texas A&M Professor Craig Wilson said Monarchs number about 141.5 million this year, compared to 300 million last year.

Monarch butterflies are already being spotted in numerous Texas locations as they travel from overwintering grounds in Mexico, but numbers appear to be down significantly — from 300 million last year to about 141.5 million this year — said a Texas A&M University professor.

Craig Wilson, director of the USDA Future Scientists Program, senior research associate in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education and a longtime butterfly enthusiast, said the Monarchs are in Texas at least three weeks earlier than the traditional Spring Equinox departure date due to warmer-than-normal temperatures in Mexico.

“On Wednesday, March 11 I spotted the first arrival from the state of Michoacan, Mexico,” Wilson said. “It was a female with very faded wings, so she likely migrated through this area last October heading to Mexico. She appeared desperate to lay eggs on milkweed but only a few tiny leaves are emerging.”

Continue reading at Texas A&M University

Image via Texas A&M University